Monday, 24 April 2006

Dawn Chorus

Good weekend. Saturday, woke early thanks to the dawn chorus, in time to head across to Brighton for lunch. Jacqueline had won something on eBay that we needed to pick up. Once we'd picked it up, we headed into the centre of Brighton to look at the shops 'n' stuff.

Passed an H&M, which I find is always useful for kid's clothes, and 15 minutes and £110 later, Alice now has her summer wardrobe. Almost the first shop out of the car park was a toy shop, in which Alice insisted in spending almost every penny of her pocket money on a Barbie doll. Money really does burn a hole in her pocket.

On through the Lanes, which are always very pleasant to walk through, but whose shops I don't find particularly interesting.

We'd promised to Alice that she could spend some time on the beach, and to be honest she was a complete pain walking around the shops - even shops that she liked - because she was constantly whining about how she wanted to go to the beach now. Plus, of course, you end up giving in eventually so not only did we have to suffer whining while we were mooching, but we didn't get to mooch very far either. She can be really horrible sometimes and is selfish all the time. Once we got to the beach, Alice changed into her swimsuit and had a splash, and with the weather being beautiful and sunny I had a lie down for half an hour. With just a little stop for an ice cream and a coffee in one of the beachside cafes, it was time to head home.

Quite hungry, having had a light lunch, we stopped in Portsmouth for a real treat - a visit to KFC. Yummy! Got one of those buckets which was way too big, we took it home and Jacqueline finished it for her breakfast!

So all in all Saturday was quite a good day despite Alice's attempts to spoil things. Plus, it was the first really summery day we've had this year - very sunny, and warm in the sun. Of course the wind cooled things down somewhat but we are still only in April.

Sunday was the mundane day. Did the weekly shop and pottered about the house. Did some tidying, some scanning/shredding. Watched the FA Cup semi-final. Alice spent much of the day playing out with some friends of hers, but to be honest they are all best friends one minuter and worst enemies the next. She does seem to have trouble endearing herself to people. Plus, we had a good shout at her last night because she came out with something really quite offensive to Jacqueline. I can't even remember what it was now, but Alice was way out of line. She does seem to think she can get away with saying whatever she likes and then saying "But I don't mean it" afterwards. On one occasion, she really upset me because she said that I'd killed Barney (who was our cat who died last year). Now, Barney and I were bestest buddies so I found that remark very offensive.

I live in hope that Alice will learn how to mix socially with people, but I see precious little evidence of it and I know that the longer it takes her the harder it will be for her.

Reading back over this entry, it seems to be a real have-a-go-at-Alice entry, but that's how I feel at the moment.

On the plus side I have consigned to the shredder statements from two credit cards, phone bills and gas bills (all of which going back years) over the weekend. The scanner continues to behave well, my only gripe being that the 50-page sheetfeeder does not mean that 50 pages may be scanned at once. Anything more than five or six pages at once and the paper starts to jam. But hey, I can live with that. I'm now freeing up space inside my filing cabinet itself.

One other thing worth mentioning - my last-but-one invoice got paid a week late, and my latest invoice was late also. I whined to the agency about this and they came back, apologised profusely and sent a payment by CHAPS the same day. A nice, reassuring touch.

My clients upgraded their database at the weekend, so most of this morning has been spent fielding issues from end-users about why things that worked on Friday do not work today. It is impossible to generate enthusiasm for this type of work, which really a telephonist could do far more pleasantly than I can, and reinforces the need to find new consultancy work.

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